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Thread: B-52's 60th anniversary

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Where you wish you were.

    B-52's 60th anniversary

    Today marks the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the B-52.
    Still in operational use, I know this has been discussed before, but a record for a combat (non-transport or trainer) type.

    One of my earliest memories as a very young boy at Larson AFB, (in the central Washington desert east of Seattle) is hearing B-52s being run in preparation to delivery to the Air Force. The huge eight-bay specially built hangar is still there, although not used for aviation uses.

    I'll remember my flight in the late, 57-6477, a G model assigned the the the 92nd BW in early 1985. Almost 10 years later I got a chance to visit her at the Davis Monthan boneyard. It had been stripped and was waiting the final chop. I was probably the last person to have flown in her to visit the airframe. It's not hard to find stories of fathers and sons flying the type, and probably there is a grandson (or granddaughter) assigned to it as well.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 15th April 2012 at 19:11.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Nerja, Spain
    Happy 60th Birthday to the Big Ugly Fat F..... !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I was just looking at a photo of myself standing in front of what was probably one of the last B-52D's to come to the UK 56-0694 at Air Fete 81.
    Happy birthday BUFF.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Birthday BUFF!

    Like the old joke goes... When the last B-2 Spirit is retired and shuts down her engines for the last time at Davis-Monthan, there'll be a B-52 waiting there to fly the crew back home.

    Here is a scan of B-52 serial number #008. More than 20 years ago a relative of mine was on the team working on retrofitting a braking parachute to the Space Shuttle and they did a lot of testing at Edwards AFB with old number 8. I think Gordon Fullerton flew a lot of the missions and if I remember correctly he even did the last flight with her when they retired her around 2004. She was one of the first built, longest serving, and yet had very low airframe hours because it didn't serve as a frontline bomber. I'll have to go pull some files and look at my notes. Now that I think about it, is #008 the oldest surviving B-52 airframe? I was watching the footage of the B-52 flying without a vertical stab just earlier today and didn't even realize it was the anniversary of the first flight. Well done!

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    Last edited by DC Page; 15th April 2012 at 23:13.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Regarding surviving early airframes I've seen "Balls 3" at Pima Air Museum in Tucson and "Balls 5" at Wings Air Museum in Denver. I think those two aircraft along with "Balls 8" did all the X-15 launches, although I can't remember for sure if 8 was ever configured to launch the X-15 or if #3 and #5 did it all between them. I know "Balls 3" still has the X-15 launch pylon mounted on the starboard wing inboard of engines 5 & 6, can't remember if "Balls 5" still does though. So maybe "Balls 3" is the oldest surviving B-52 airframe. Boeing scrapped both the XB and YB prototypes didn't they?

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